Health insurance marketplace opens in Massachusetts – Metro US

Health insurance marketplace opens in Massachusetts

Health insurance marketplace opens in Massachusetts
Erin Tiernan/Metro Boston

Open enrollment for health insurance opens Tuesday in Massachusetts’ statewide marketplace, and with premiums expected to jump by about 19 percent on average, officials are urging people to shop around.

The state health insurance marketplace is open until Jan. 31 and it is the only avenue for residents who want to benefit from subsidies and tax credits that will dampen the impact of the increases.

Subsidies and tax credits are designed to keep health insurance affordable for individuals and families who cannot access care through their employers. Affordable healthcare is defined as costing less than 9.66 percent of a person’s monthly income, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services

While the hike in premiums is a big one, there is a lot of variability depending on who you are and which plan you choose, the Worcester Telegram reported.

On whole, Massachusetts premiums won’t soar quite as high as high as national averages, and variation among all but two plans will be much lower.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Neighborhood Health are slated to see the biggest increases in premiums, at 47 percent and 24 percent respectively.

But, a 27-year-old customer in Massachusetts is likely to see their costs fall by 3 percent, slate.com reported.

Bottom line: take the time to shop around and see what’s available. The connector site is open for three months, which should give customers plenty of time to shop around.

Find more information on Massachusetts Health Connector here.

Massachusetts also operates walk-in centers where certified Health Connector navigators walk applicants through the enrollment process to ensure they receive the most subsidies, tax credits or other aid possible. There are 25 locations around Boston where applicants can find help enrolling, including the Health Connector Walk-In Center, 133 Portland St., which is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For a complete list of locations, visit betterhealthconnector.com.